Social facilities are put on a solid benefit // The Ministry of Labor clarifies the rules for subsidizing their construction

The Ministry of Labor intends to update the rules of state support for investment projects in the social sphere. The White House is ready to subsidize the rate of loans only for long-term social investment projects – with a term of implementation of ten years or more, but will remove the requirement for a ten-year loan term. The changes are focused more on businesses interested in providing social infrastructure for their own investment projects. Representatives of socially oriented NGOs interviewed by Kommersant welcome the expansion of the variability in financing the social sphere, but they say that they have no projects that meet the conditions of the decree – in order for them to appear, it is necessary to increase the prices for the provision of social services: this will provide NGOs with sources of funds for potential capital investments …

The Ministry of Labor published on a draft government decree that clarifies the rules of state support for investors involved in the construction of social facilities. The amendments are aimed at large businesses, for which the construction of social facilities is part of their own large-scale investment projects. The main innovation in the document of the Ministry of Labor is the expansion of the types of projects for which subsidies can be directed through concession agreements or PPP agreements – if they have a clear timetable for the creation and work plan of social facilities. The Ministry of Labor also proposes to fix the preferential rate on such loans, unlinking it from the Central Bank rate, which should make the volume of loan payments more predictable.

The condition for the provision of benefits remains the provision of social services to citizens within ten years from the beginning of the commissioning of a social infrastructure facility into operation, but the department is ready to refuse from the requirement to obtain a loan for the entire ten-year period, they will not require the borrower to be included in the register of social service providers in the corresponding constituent entity of the Russian Federation. …

The Ministry of Labor proposes to transfer part of the burden of supporting such projects to banks: they, in particular, will have to control the spending of the funds and subsidies issued, and will also be able to revise the rate towards the market rate in case of financial violations by the borrower until they are eliminated.

Note that the document of the Ministry of Labor, in addition to investors, mentions social NGOs and philanthropists as potential beneficiaries of the new order, however, representatives of socially oriented NGOs themselves, although they support the White House’s readiness to participate in financing new social facilities, note that the “third sector” in Russia the amendments are not affected – its financial capabilities do not allow receiving such subsidies. According to Naila Novozhilova, Chairperson of the Board of the Arithmetica Dobra Charitable Foundation, “there are very few non-profit organizations that are building something without funds, because donations still need to be collected to pay off the loan, which is often unpredictable. Usually, NPOs invest in social facilities with a targeted donation, and then a loan is not needed. This document is more of a business support than an NGO ”.

There are practically no non-profit organizations in the Russian Federation that would meet the conditions of the new decree. To stimulate the emergence of such companies or projects, the government needs to change the prices of social services. “This can be done due to the fact that rates for services will correspond to normal market rates for organizations that are in the register of social service providers, and not ten times lower,” the expert says.

Anastasia Ryabova

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